Western European Metal Artworks

Salt-cellar from the Princes Yusúpov Scandinavian dinner-set of

    Salt-cellar from the Princes Yusúpov Scandinavian dinner-set of

    France, Paris

    the second half of the 19th century

    Alexander Gueyton's workshop

    Crystal, silver; faceting, casting, chasing, carving, forge-rolling

    9.5 х 26.0 х 10.5 cm

    Marks: French stamp for items of alloy "950"; Alex GUEYTON"; stamp for imported through Saint Perersburg goods with alloy mark "81", the last quarter of the 19th century


    The salt-cellar enters in the so-called Scandinavian dinner-set that was comprised of 30 items. It was manufectured in Paris by order of Prince Boris Yusúpov and his wife Princess Tatyana Yusupova.

    The dinner-set was called the Scandinavian due to the decorative pattern that included the Northern, Scandinavian and Old Russian ornamental features. The variance exists regarding the time of the dinner-set manufacturing. Alexander Gueyton, whose hallmark is stamped on the item, died in 1862, hence his heirs continued to use his hallmark. Thus, two estimated dates of the dinner-set manufacturing exist in the literature for specialists. They are either 1843-1863 or 1874-1875. Judging by the Russian mark for the imported goods, it can be suggested that the dinner-set was brought to Russia in the last quarter of the19th century, and was stored in the Princes Yusúpov family up to the Great October revolution in 1917. Felix Yusúpov wrote in his memoirs that after the revolutionary events, the considerable part of the family’s treasures were hidden in their Moscow mansion and were kept there until 1925, when they were discovered. Among them, apparently, was the Scandinavian dinner-set. Nowadays, the items from this dinner-set are stored in various museum collections in Russia. Nevertheless, its major part was sold in the 1920’s and 1930’s through the Antiques system to the Western countries.

    The glass salt-cellar is the form of two round silver-rimmed plates on three feet each, connected by a handle in the Historism style. The ring-shaped bases and the rims’ feet are decorated with the pattern based on the old Scandinavian motives. The salt-cellar handle is comprised of two maintaining eye contact lions, holding the Yusúpov’ family coat of arms in their paws and standing on the ornately shaped pedestal in the form of a stylized lily.